Word of the Day: oligophrenia

It’s been a long week, and I’m really, really, grateful for Friday. I’ve got the turkey out, and I’m cutting out circles, and writing an intro to this story which has now become something of a non sequitur. I’m hoping to get ahead enough with the Word of the Day to send it out in the mornings in the not-too-distant future, because I think my brain will thank me. Maybe yours will thank my brain, too. Clearly, I’ve got brains on the brain. I think it must be a Dollhouse night.

Today’s Word:


As in:

Deep in the urban underground of cities across this country, a new threat has emerged. This new threat is a unique breed of gangster, plucked straight off of Sesame Street.

These cunning criminals have moved out of Mr. Roger’s neighborhood and into large-scale organized crime. The great crime families now look to these newcomers, whose business threatens the bottom line of crime syndicates all over the nation. But this new breed of gangster has a powerful disguise: everyone of them is under the age of 18. These under-aged mobsters look like ordinary kids, which perfectly shields them from the attention of adults.

Too many times officers have mistaken their fresh faces and seeming immaturity for innocence. Worse, their youthful appearance makes policeĀ  believe they suffer from age-induced oligophrenia, an assessment which leads these poor officers to grossly underestimate their cunning opponents.

The first indications that these gangs were operating came when FBI agents tracked a shipment of stolen super-soaker rifles to a heavily armed, remote camp. To the officers’ surprise, the camp was guarded by 50 pre-teens, equipped with sniper rifles, powerful automatic weapons, grenade launchers, and surface-to-air missile platforms. The “harmless super-soakers” were filled with cocaine, plastic explosives and powdered drink mix.

Investigators soon discovered that this facility was but the tip of the iceberg. Organized kiddie crime, which investigators suspect has been around for decades, has been connected to 10 assassinations, child pornography, 5 Pokemon card counterfeiting operations and hundreds of intimidation and extortion cases in the last five years. Investigators guess that the money laundering operations, typically disguised as mere lemonade stands, school fund raisers, and Scouting sales events have made billions of illegal funds legitimate.

And today, the first big break into these “Kindergarten Criminals” came when 6-year-old Joey “the Whiner” Himple, a known hit man for the powerful Black Ranger crime syndicate, was caught showing his gun and mini shoulder harness to a friend. The two were observed by a classmate, a known tattle-tale, and Joey, remembering his hit squad training, fired on the girl. Joey, of course, had been taught that dead witnesses are silent witnesses.

oligophrenia /oh-LIG-oh-frin-ee-a / feeble-mindedness, extreme mental retardation.